Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

How to store cakes and keep them moist once they have been cut?

Store cakes in airtight tins, not plastic boxes as plastic encourages mold and taints cakes with lingering smells. Do not store cakes and biscuits together, as moisture from the cake will make the biscuits soggy. Once a cake has been cut, you can keep it moist for a few days by wrapping it in foil before storing it, or by inverting a mixing bowl over it and storing in the refrigerator.

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15:34:11 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why some recipes use plain flour and baking powder, while others use self-raising flour?

Self-raising flour has more lifting power than a blend of plain flour and baking powder, so this is the best flour to use for heavy mixtures. Plain flours can raise a light mixture with the aid of baking pwder, especially if the recipe also contains eggs or egg whites which will help to aerate the mix.

If you want to make your own self-raising flour, sift 500 g (4 cups) plain flour with 4 level teaspoons baking powder.

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14:24:26 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What exactly is baking powder?

Baking powder is a mixture of bicarbonate of soda, which is an alkali, and cream of tartar, which is an acid. When liquid is added, the two react to produce carbon dioxide, and the heat of the oven expands these gas bubbles to raise the mixture. Baking powder also contains a filler in the form of a food starch, usually rice flour, which prevents the premature release of carbon dioxide during storage. You can make your own baking powder from one part bicarbonate of soda to two parts cream of tartar. Bicarbonate of soda can be used as a raising agent on its own, but it has an unpleasant aftertaste, so it is best used for strongly flavored, spicy cakes.

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13:49:12 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Should cakes be turned out of the tin as soon as they are cooked?

Most light cakes should be turned out of their tins while they are still warm or else the underside may go soggy with condensation or form a thick, dark outer crust. However, they will break up if they are turned out immediately they are out of the oven, so leave them in the tin for 3-5 minutes to firm up.

Heavy cakes, such as fruit cakes, are best left in the tin until they are completely cold to allow them to solidify, especially if they are going to be stored and matured.

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12:53:15 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Does it matter if a cake mixture is baked in a slightly different tin to the one specified in the recipe?

Yes, it definitely matters very much. If the tin is too large, the cake will be flat and shrunken. If it is too small, the cake will bubble or bulge up and over the sides of the tin.

However, the mixture for a round tin will fit a square tin that is about 2 cm smaller; for instance, a mixture that is designed to fill a 20 cm round tin can be used to fill a 18 cm square tin.

To adapt a recipe to fill a shaped tin, for example the number '9' for a birthday cake, fill your usual tin with water to the level the mixture normally reaches. Then pour the water into the new tin to the level required and estimate the quantity of mixture needed, doubling or halving the recipe as required.

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10:53:01 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Can cakes be baked with oil instead of butter or margarine?

Cakes made with lightly flavored oils, such as corn, sunflower or macadamia nut oil, are very easy to mix (though they do need extra raising agent to stop them becoming heavy), and they can stay moist much longer. But it is debatable whether they are healthier; although some oils contain less saturated fat than butter or margarine, they have just as many kilojoules.

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15:49:16 on 09/29/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Is it possible to bake a fat-free sponge cake?

The lightest cakes - and the classic sponge - are made without any fat at all, and by the whisking method. To replace the bulk of the missing fat, the sugar and eggs are whisked together until the mixture becomes so thick that a trail is left when the beaters are lifted away.

Alternatively, you can replace some of the flour with lighter cornflour. This is usually served as a cake, perhaps accompanied by some whipped cream, but you can also serve it as a dessert, each slice accompanied by fresh fruit and a raspberry coulis.

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13:58:24 on 09/29/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to make a really feather-light cake?

To produce light cakes, it is vital to measure out the ingredients accurately and stick to the recipe. If you add too much egg, butter, flour or baking powder, this will make the cake heavy and doughy.

It is air that makes cakes light, so beat the sugar and butter until the mixture is pale, soft and fluffy, and fold in the flour gradually, being careful not to knock out any air. And be sure to use an appropriate fat - if you use soft tub margarine instead of butter in a creamed recipe, the mixture will be too wet and the cake will be flat.

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10:27:17 on 09/29/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What are the remedies to save a cake that has turned out badly?

If things go wrong during baking, disguise the damage as follows -

1. For a burnt cake, slice off the top and shave the sides with a potato peeler. Paint the surface with some warmed sieved jam and cover with a thin layer of bought marzipan or icing.

2. If a cake breaks, stick the pieces back together with jam, then cover with frosting or jam sprinkled with desiccated coconut.

3. If the middle sinks, cut it out and turn the cake into a ring cake. Spread whipped cream over the cake, and fill the cavity with fresh fruit, such as raspberries.

4. If a sponge comes out flat, cut it into fancy shapes, sandwich them together with cream and jam and dust them with icing sugar.

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04:47:12 on 09/29/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why cake come out of the oven looking perfect and then sink dramatically?

If cakes are not baked for long enough, they will sink. So follow the time stated in the recipe, use a timer, and don't be tempted to open the oven door during baking. Using too cool an oven, or opening and shutting the oven door during baking will cause sinking, as will too much raising agent in the cake mixture.

Cakes are ready when they are firm in the center and have slightly shrunken away from the sides of the tin; sponges should spring back when touched with your finger.

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01:55:51 on 09/29/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to prevent a cake mixture from curdling and if it happened, can it be save?

Curdling occurs when the butter and sugar have not been creamed sufficiently - until light and fluffy - to form a strong emulsion to absorb the eggs. Also if cold eggs are added to the mixture too quickly, separation occurs. A curdled mixture holds far less air, so the cake will be flat. Eggs should be at room temperature and added gradually. Adding a teaspoon of flour with each addition of egg can also help to prevent curdling.

If the mixture starts to curdle, dip the base of the bowl into warm water briefly, and whisk to restore the light consistency.

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13:55:05 on 09/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why do cakes sometimes have airholes, or crack and peaks?

Holes can be caused by overmixing, or unevenly or insufficiently folding in the flour. The mixture should be soft and dropping at this stage, and if it is too dry, pockets of air can get trapped. This also happens if the flour and raising agent are not sifted together thoroughly.

To prevent cracking, make sure you use the right sized tin and that the oven is not too hot. Place cakes in the center of the oven, not too high up where it will be hotter and the cake will peak and crack.

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13:07:26 on 09/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What to do with left over Chinese cabbage?

If you have some Chinese cabbage left over after making the Chinese Cabbage Slaw, keep it in the salad drawer of the refrigerator and use it as part of a stir-fry later in the week. Try it cooked with garlic, ginger and a Chinese black bean sauce.

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12:26:18 on 09/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to make coleslaw more appealing since it can be boringly chewy to eat and rather indigestible?

It does seem perverse that slaws are usually made with white cabbage, whose raw leaves are almost as tough as those of red cabbage. Choose a Chinese cabbage which is much more tender member of the cabbage family. Heads can weigh up to 700 g, so one head will make enough for a small buffet party. Indeed, because the cabbages in slaws remain crisp and sit well in their dressing even if made some hours before, they are always a practical choice for a buffet table. However, because they require so little time to prepare, they are also good as part of an informal family lunch or barbecue.

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10:19:14 on 09/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Where can we get pak choi which is a type of cabbage, and how is it prepared?

Pak choi is a cabbage without a heart, with deep green and fleshy leaves clustered on thick, juicy, white stems. A native of China and Hong Kong, pak choi used to be available only in Chinese food shops, but it is now grown also in Australia and is widely available in fresh produce shops.

Brief steaming or stir-frying is recommended to retain flavor and juiciness. It takes happily to the garlic, ginger and soy treatment of Chinese cooking, but also adapts well to being served as an accompanying vegetable without any herbs or spices, Western-style.

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04:15:00 on 09/28/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to prevent red cabbage from losing its color during cooking?

Red cabbage is inclined to turn a dingy purple in the long cooking required to soften it. You can avoid this by cooking it in a microwave oven. Shred the cabbage finely, and cook it on High for 6 minutes.

If using a conventional oven, a good splash of red wine or red wine vinegar in the latter stages of cooking goes some way to restoring its vibrant ruby color. Because of the long cooking time of this dish, it makes sense to make it in a large quantity; the red cabbage keeps well in the refrigerator and some say it is even better reheated. Bake some potatoes or a potato gratin while it is cooking to utilize the oven heat, and serve with pork chops or good quality sausages.

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14:11:18 on 09/27/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to avoid the unpleasant smell that cabbage produces during cooking?

There are dozens of varieties of cabbage, including red, green, white, savoy, pointed and drumhead, as well as closely related curly kale and spring greens - but they all release smelly hydrogen sulphide gas during cooking.

The amount of gas they produce doubles between the fifth and seventh minutes of boiling, so to cut down on the smell, you must either keep the cooking time to under 5 minutes, which suits the looser-headed varieties best, or opt for much longer cooking in a closed oven to cook off this effect and achieve a mellowness of flavor.

Green and savoy cabbages are best cooked fast by adding the leaves to boiling water. Red and white cabbage, having greatest resilience in the leaves, respond better to slow cooking.

Alternatively, all cabbages can be sliced into thin shreds and quickly stir-fried, perhaps with the addition of caraway seeds, lemon juice, soy sauce or chopped chili and eaten while still a little crisp.

Ruffled leaves and deep color make savoy the distinctive aristocrat of the winter cabbage patch. Cooked fast with juniper berries and gin is a fitting partner for rich beef casseroles and roast pork, and will not cause smells in your kitchen.

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12:36:47 on 09/27/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

About Beurre Noir

Beurre noir or 'black butter', is a sauce made by cooking butter until it turns dark brown. A little vinegar or lemon juice is added to the butter, then flavorings such as capers or parsley. Beurre noir is best served with grilled or fried fish, eggs and vegetables dishes. Beurre noisette is similar to beurre noir, but the butter is cooked only until it is medium-brown, then the seasonings are added.

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11:43:40 on 09/27/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

About Beurre Monte

Beurre monte is similar to beurre blanc but the base may be any slightly thickened liquid such as a sauce made by reduction, a sauce thickened with flour, or reduced stock. Cold butter is whisked into the sauce in the same way as when making beurre blanc.

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10:37:42 on 09/27/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

About Beurre Blanc

Beurre blanc is a pale, creamy sauce similar to hollandaise. To make beurre blanc, dice 75 g cold unsalted butter. Simmer 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar with 75 ml white wine or water in a small saucepan with a finely chopped shallot until the mixture has reduced to about 2 tablespoons of liquid. Add 1 tablespoon fresh cream if you like and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and whisk in the butter pieces, one by one, until the sauce is thick, pale and creamy. The sauce may be served as it is or strained to remove the shallots. Beurre blanc marries well with chicken, egg, fish and vegetables.

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09:45:40 on 09/27/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Can homemade herb butter keep as long as ordinary butter?

No, homemade herb butter will not keep as long as the ordinary butter. Unsalted butter may be kept in a refrigerator for up to two weeks and salted butter for three weeks. Herb butter will keep for two days only as the oil in the herbs will turn the butter rancid. However, it can be frozen for up to a month.

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14:22:07 on 09/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Besides using herb and garlic butters for topping steaks, what else can they be used for?

Herb and other savory flavored butters are excellent tossed with pasta, spread on hot breads, added to soups and sauces or used as a topping for jacket potatoes. Grilled chicken or fish and steamed vegetables are also good matches.

Anchovies, curry powder, lemon zest, mustard, onion, paprika and tomato paste can all add an interesting savory flavor to butter. Sweet butters for pancakes can be made with sugar plus ground almonds or hazelnuts, lemon or orange zest, mixed spices, brandy, rum or liqueur.

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12:56:53 on 09/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

If I don't have unsalted butter required in the recipe, can I substitute it with salted butter instead?

If the recipe indicates unsalted butter, it is always best to use it. Unsalted butter is often specified for delicate pastries for fruit tarts and tartlets, and for Danish pastries and croissants. It is also used for icings, cakes, tea breads, sweet biscuits, baked desserts such as crumbles, confectionery like butterscotch, and other sweet foods, where even a pinch of salt would be obvious and would change the flavor of the dish. It is also better to use unsalted butter for delicate sauces such as hollandaise, and then to add salt to taste to the sauce.

Sometimes, however, salted butter is a crucial part of the dish because the salt highlights the flavors of the other ingredients.

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10:22:43 on 09/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Are ghee and clarified butter the same thing?

No, they are not the same. Ghee is an Indian version of clarified butter which is made by simmering butter until all the moisture has evaporated and the butter caramelizes. This results in a stronger, sweeter and rather nutty flavor. Ghee is often made from buffalo's milk or cow's milk, although ghee made from vegetable oils is also widely available.

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07:15:57 on 09/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

When and why do we need to use clarified butter?

Clarified butter is melted butter from which the salt, water, milk solids and other impurities have been removed, leaving only the pure butterfat. It will not burn when heated and so is good for sauteing and shallow-frying.

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03:45:55 on 09/26/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

When cooking, which is the best or most versatile butter to use?

A lightly salted butter is fine for general cooking purposes except where the recipe specifically calls for unsalted butter. Using butter in cooking adds flavor and a certain richness to foods, as well as improving the taste and appearance. Unsalted butter is ideal for many cakes, sweet pastries and biscuits.

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13:33:08 on 09/25/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Sometimes why do we need to add oil to butter for frying?

Butter is not easy to use for frying. In addition to butterfat, it contains water, milk solids and other impurities that make it burn at lower temperatures than most vegetable oils. By putting a little oil in the pan, then adding the butter and cooking the food over a low heat, you can help to prevent the butter from burning and spoiling the dish. You can also minimize the problem by using clarified butter.

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12:16:45 on 09/25/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is the difference between salted and unsalted butter?

Salted butter is cooled pasteurized cream that has been churned to form large globules of butter. After the remaining liquid from the cream (buttermilk) is drained off, a maximum of 3 percent salt is added. Unsalted butter is produced in the same manner, but without the salt added. In some countries, unsalted butter is also known as sweet butter.

Cultured butter is also unsalted. Before churning, a selected culture is added to the cream, which is held at a controlled temperature overnight to allow the development of an acidic flavor.

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10:55:19 on 09/25/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is burghul, and why does it cook so quickly?

Burghul, which is also known as bulgur wheat, or cracked wheat, is wheat that has been steamed, dried and cracked, which enables it to readily absorb moisture. Brughul is therefore ready to use in recipes far more quickly than the whole grain. If burghul is to be served in a salad, such as Middle Eastern salad tabbouleh, it is usually to soak the grains for 30 minutes and then use them without further cooking.

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06:54:43 on 09/25/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is the difference between a bun and a roll?

Buns are made from sweetened, yeast dough enriched with butter, whereas rolls are less sweet, or unsweetened, and are not enriched. Buns often have raisins or spices added, and are glazed or decorated before baking. Chelsea and hot cross buns are popular examples.

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15:56:24 on 09/24/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to make Brussels sprouts more appealing to children?

Most children enjoys stir-fries, so try sprouts quartered into wedges and stir-fried. Use 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a hot wok or frying pan and firstly stir-fry one onion, cut into 12 wedges, for about a minute, to develop some flavor. Then add 250g quartered Brussels sprouts and two carrots, obliquely sliced, and stir-fry for about three minutes, or until tender crisp. Stir in 2 tablespoons each of salt-reduced soy sauce and tomato sauce and 1/4 cup vegetable stock. Heat through and serve.

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14:42:41 on 09/24/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why do sometimes a crisscross is required to be made in the stalk of a Brussels sprout?

The only time a cross cut in the bottom of a sprout's stem is when we are cooking a batch of various sizes. On these occasions, cut a cross in the larger sprouts. This allows heat to penetrate more easily to the middle so that the larger sprouts cook in the same time as the smaller ones.

Brussels sprouts are at their best when they are very tight, small buds and, since most supermarkets now sell them in a fairly regular and quite small size, crosscutting the stalks is rarely necessary.

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11:02:37 on 09/24/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What can be done to make raw Brussels sprouts more appetizing?

Raw Brussels sprouts are surprisingly good finely shredded in a slaw-type winter salad with carrots, celery and spring onion plus plenty of chopped parsley, watercress or snow pea sprouts. The salad is good with baked potatoes and cold meat or hot sausages for a family meal. It is also appropriate for a winter buffet as it will stand for an hour or two without wilting and is easy to multiply for larger numbers.

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04:30:55 on 09/24/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What can be done with large broccoli stalks, instead of just throwing them away?

Cutting chunky stalks into diagonal slices produces attractive shapes, which can be cooked separately. They can also be added to the florets, or chilled and used later in a stir-fry or a soup, curry or casserole. Even thick stems can be used if they are first sliced into very thin discs. Cook these for the same time as the rest of the broccoli.

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12:18:01 on 09/23/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is the difference between purple and green broccoli?

There are two sorts of broccoli, sprouting broccoli with purple or white heads, and calabrese which has blue-green heads.

Sprouting broccoli is leafier than calabrese and can be served as a starter vegetable in its own right, with mayonnaise. Green broccoli, called calabrese, reflects the vegetable's Italian origins. The cooks of Calabria chop the florets into a pasta made salty-sweet with anchovy sauce or paste and some sultanas. This is then topped with crisply fried breadcrumbs.

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08:05:22 on 09/23/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to cook broccoli so that the florets will not become soggy by the time the stem is tender?

Divide a fresh head of broccoli into biggies florets, and cut each stem into a short, tapering wedge. Thinly slice the center stalk. Cook all the parts by either steaming or boiling briefly. You can also keep broccoli florets firm and crisp by putting them into a stir-fry.

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15:28:27 on 09/22/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to make wholemeal bread more tasty instead of dry and unappetizing?

Wholemeal flour tends to make heavier bread than white, so if you mix a little white flour into a wholemeal recipe, the bread will be lighter. Ground nuts also lighten the texture and add moisture.

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13:47:45 on 09/22/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

When to use the different types of breadcrumbs?

Dried white breadcrumbs are used for coating foods such as rissoles, veal or fish before frying. Use day-old bread from a country style loaf, remove the crusts and place slices in one layer on a baking tray. Bake at 120 degress C for 15-20 minutes until the bread is dry, but do not allow it to color.

Alternatively, you can leave the slices in a warm place for one to two days covered with paper towel, until they are dry. Crush the dried crumbs with a rolling pin, or in a food processor.

Browned, dried breadcrumbs are used for covering ham and for gratins. It is best to use crusts from country-style bread and dry them at 12O degress C for about 30 minutes until they just begin to take on color, then crush with a rolling pin or in a food processor.

Fresh white breadcrumbs are preferred for thickening sauces, for stuffings and bread sauce - and for adding to desserts such as treacle tart. Use day-old, rather than just-baked bread, and cut the crusts off. Either rub the pieces through a sieve with your palm, or make crumbs in a food processor. Fresh breadcrumbs can be stored in the freezer. Howver, thaw before use.

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09:35:27 on 09/22/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is fermented dough starter?

Fermented dough starter is a thick mixture of 15 g dried yeast, 600 ml water and 250 g flour which is covered tightly and left at room temperature for about three days to develop sourdough flavor. Half the blend is used to leaven bread. The remaining half of the initial dough starter can be replenished by adding equal parts of flour and water, and half of it is used again after 24 hours when it has risen and become bubbly. Using dough starter gives bread more flavor.

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14:30:25 on 09/21/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why is buttermilk an essential ingredient of soda bread?

Buttermilk is high in lactic acid, and when mixed with bicarbonate of soda, which is an alkali, the chemical reaction that results produces the gas of carbon dioxide. This has the effect of aerating the dough and making it much lighter. Sour cream can be substituted for buttermilk, as it is also acidic.

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07:46:25 on 09/21/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How long can Melba toast be kept in a tin before it goes soft?

If the tin is airtight, crispy Melba toast can be kept for a few weeks before it will taste stale. If it goes soft, it can be crisp again by heating it briefly in a hot oven. You can make Melba toast using ordinary sliced white bread. Toast the slices, cut off the crusts, and use a very sharp thin knife to cut each slice open and separate it into two thinner slices. Toast the inner slices under a grill, and leave the bread to cool. Store in an airtight tin.

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13:58:30 on 09/20/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Is there an easier way of making bread without a mixer with a dough hook?

A food processor will mix the bread ingredients together and will also form them into a ball so that considerably less kneading will be required. Bread that is made with wholemeal flour is much less work to produce because it has a low gluten content. It needs only a little kneading and then just one rising in the tin before being baked. A computer-controlled electric bread-making machine is the ultimate labor-saving choice.

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12:32:29 on 09/20/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How long can yeast be kept?

Fresh yeast will keep for up to two weeks in a plastic storage box in the refrigerator. The box should have a tight lid in which you have made a few small air holes. There should be enough holes to prevent any condensation, but not so many as to overexpose the yeast to air.

The yeast should be a creamy beige, smooth and in one piece. Yeast that is dry, crumbled and grey is stale and will not work. Dried and instant rapid-rise yeast should be stored in a cool and dry place. They will keep almost indefinitely, but try to observe the 'use-by' date on the packet. If you use it after the expiry date, check that the yeast foams after it has dissolved. If it does not, the bread will not rise properly.

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11:22:24 on 09/20/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Does it matter whether we use fresh yeast or dried yeast in breadmaking?

There is little difference between the results achieved by using dried or fresh yeast. However, dried yeast is almost twice as concentrated as fresh, so in a recipe calling for 30 g fresh yeast, use no more than 15 g dried yeast. Instant rapid-rise yeast is even more concentrated.

In fact, using a bit less yeast and leaving the dough to prove longer produces a better-tasting and longer-lasting loaf.

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11:21:54 on 09/19/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

When making bread, is it possible to speed up the proving or rising by using a microwave oven?

Dough can indeed be risen in a microwave oven. Once the dough is kneaded, place it in an ungreased bowl and cover it with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Put the bowl in the oven and heat to High for 10 seconds, then leave the bowl to stand for 20 minutes in the microwave or in a warm place, by which time the dough should have doubled in size. If it has not risen sufficiently, heat it on High for another 10 seconds, then stand for a further 10 minutes.

For the second rise, remember you cannot use a metal loaf tin in the microwave. If you have a nonmetallic tin, place the dough in it, microwave on High for 10 seconds, then let it stand for just 5 minutes. Continue with the recipe as usual after proving.

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09:44:17 on 09/19/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What does the term 'knocking back' bread dough mean?

It is the term used for punching the dough with the fist when it has risen to twice its original size. The punch helps to disperse the bubbles that are produced by the yeast throughout the dough.

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05:53:22 on 09/19/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why should bread a few days old be used for summer pudding and bread-and-butter pudding?

Fresh bread loses both shape and texture when it is moistened by a sauce, while bread that is a day or two old will absorb moisture and still retain its shape. Stale bread is also preferable for french toast, since its firm shape makes it easier to crisp the outside when it is fried.

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12:22:57 on 09/18/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Is it difficult to make brandy snaps as they look very complicated?

Bravery is not required, but you do need to concentrate and be well prepared. Measure the ingredients accurately and, when melting the mixture, take care that it does not become too hot. Line the metal baking trays with nonstick baking paper and leave plenty of space around each spoonful of the mixture on the sheet to allow for spreading. The biscuits should be about 7.5 cm apart.

Cook no more than two trays at a time, or some biscuits may become too firm before you are ready to roll them into shape. If this should happen, simply return the tray to the oven for a few seconds to let them soften, then roll up.

Be sure to have several wooden spoons and a few wire racks to hand so that you can cope very quickly with rolling and cooling.

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09:27:22 on 09/18/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Which is more fattening, brandy butter or thick cream?

It is difficult to say which is the more fattening of the two. A typical recipe for brandy butter contains less fat than thick cream, but more kilojoules, because it has quite a high sugar content.

You could always substitute a reduced-fat margarine spread for butter when you are preparing brandy butter, but that would be defeating the purpose of this rich indulgence. If you enjoy such luxuries in small amounts, and only on special occasions, it is probably best to let your tastebuds decide which is preferable.

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04:03:59 on 09/18/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Where can we purchse bran?

Nowadays, many of the large supermarkets sell packets of bran, and they are normally found near the breakfast cereals. We can also buy bran in most good health food shops. It keeps well in its sealed packet or an airtight container, in a cool place, for up to three months.

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20:34:18 on 09/17/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What exactly is bran?

Bran is the husk, or outer layer, of all cereals, although wheat bran is the most common bran sold commercially. Bran is usually separated from the grain during the milling process of flour production. It is a valuable source of fiber and is an added ingredient in many breakfast cereals. It is also sold simply as bran, which can be used to enrich breads, muffins and tea breads, or it can be toasted and used in muesli.

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12:40:40 on 09/17/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Which are the best ingredients to use for braising?

Tougher cuts of meat, such as beef flank and older game birds, are ideal candidates for braising. They are often marinated in the braising liquid first to start the tenderizing process and then cooked in a slow oven at 140 degrees C, with vegetables and herbs to add flavor. The traditional vegetables are leek or onion, carrot and celery.

Some other wonderful combinations are shin of beef with Spanish onions and thyme, or with onions, paprika and tomato puree. Venison is a very low-fat meat and is often braised to keep it moist. It is very tasty marinated and braised in red wine flavored with garlic, juniper berries and orange peel. Pheasant is excellent braised in a mixture of chicken stock and white wine, with apples and celery.

Braising is also useful for vegetables with tough membranes which are then broken down by slow, moist cooking. Celery, for instance, is transformed into a mild aromatic dish when braised in stock and butter. Other vegetables that benefit from braising are fennel (delicious with olive oil and vermouth); artichoke hearts in beef stock with butter, thyme and a splash of red wine; leeks with butter and lemon juice; and chicory with chicken stock, butter and lemon juice.

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08:40:08 on 09/17/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Does braising meat create its own stock, or should some stock or alcohol be added for extra richness?

Braising meat produces a delicious, full-flavored stock whether you use just water or add stock or alcohol. For a simple family meal, water flavored with vegetables, herbs and black peppercorns produces a sufficiently well-flavored dish. However, the addition of stock and/or wine enriches the taste and gives added flavor.

For a really elegant braised dish, set aside the cooked meat and keep it warm, then strain the stock, discarding the vegetables, and reduce it by rapid boiling to a syrupy consistency. Glaze the meat with the reduced sauce and serve with other freshly cooked vegetables.

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15:15:52 on 09/16/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Boning a leg of lamb.

Boning a leg of lamb enables you to add a stuffing, which will give the meat extra flavor and succulence, and makes it very easy to carve. Or you can lay it flat under the grill or on a barbecue, skin side nearest the heat, where it will cook in just 15 minutes, being turned once. To ensure a neat, easy job, use a narrow, rigid boning knife.

1. There are three bones to remove: the shank bone, which juts out of the meat at the narrow end; the middle bone, which is attached to the shank bone by a ball and socket joint; and the V-shaped pelvic bone, which turns across the thick end of the joint.

2. Lay the leg fleshy side down. Start at the shank end and, holding the knife like a dagger, cut through the flesh down to the shank bone beneath. Change your grip to the normal one and cut along the bone, keeping the knife as close to the bone as possible, so as not to waste any of the meat.

3. Scrape round the ball and socket joint then cut along the middle and pelvic bones. Use your fingers to locate each bone in turn and work from both ends of the leg if you find it easier. Gradually ease the bones out, one by one. The boned meat is now ready to be stuffed, rolled and tied up for roasting.

4. To open the boned meat out flat for grilling which is also known as butterfly boning, make two further parallel cuts through the thick pieces of meat on either side of the space left by the middle bone. Beat the meat once or twice with a wooden mallet to even out the thickness, then grill or barbecue.

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12:31:34 on 09/16/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Tying up a boned chicken.

There are two ways to tie up a chicken In the first, you sew up stuffed and rolled bird using a trussing needle and string, sewing across one end first, down the length of the roll and then across the other end.

Alternatively, you can fold the bird into shape around the stuffing then wrap it in a piece of muslin or a roasting net. First dip the cloth in melted butter or oil and wring out lightly. Put the stuffed bird in the center of the cloth, flap side uppermost, then wrap the cloth around it tightly, securing it at both ends with string to look like a Christmas cracker.

The cooking time should be calculated according to the bird's weight after it has been stuffed. Be sure it is fully cooked through, particularly if you have used a sausage-meat stuffing. Check by inserting a skewer into the center of the joint and the juices should run clear.

If you have wrapped the bird in muslin there is no need to baste it during cooking - but remove the cloth before the bird is completely cold or it will stick.

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07:54:16 on 09/16/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

The difference between braising and stewing.

Braising is a method of slowly cooking meat, game birds and poultry in a heavy-based covered pan or covered casserole, using a bed of chopped vegetables, which can also include some diced ham or bacon added for flavor. Water or stock should be added to come halfway up the joint.

Braising tends to use a slightly better cut of meat than stewing and a whole cut is generally chosen. The meat is usually fried briefly to brown it first, then placed in a pan or casserole with a tight-fitting lid and cooked either on the stove or in the oven. It cooks gently in its own juices and the steam from the vegetables, which impart flavor.

The term 'braising' is also used sometimes to mean cooking vegetables in the oven in a covered dish with a little liquid. For example, heads of celery are braised in vegetable or chicken stock.

Stewing is a method in which the added liquid (beer, cider, stock, water or wine) covers the meat and is heated to just under boiling point. This technique is reserved for the toughest cuts of meat which need long, slow cooking, and the meat is generally cut into chunks to aid the tenderizing process.

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15:34:19 on 09/15/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Using leftovers

When braising meat, chop any leftover bones, such as those from a chicken carcass, and add them to the bed of chopped vegetables. The bones and vegetables are discarded after cooking, but they add extra flavor to the braising liquid and to the meat.

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09:22:47 on 09/15/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Boning Chicken

You can bone all poultry by the same method, bearing in mind that the carcass of a turkey is very much larger than that of a chicken. Essential tools for the job are a sharp kitchen knife and a pair of kitchen scissors.

1. Put the chicken breast side down and cut through to the backbone. Feel for the fleshy 'oyster' at the top of each thigh and cut round it to remove it from its pocket, then gently scrape the flesh away from the carcass.

2. Continue cutting away from the backbone until the whole rib cage is exposed. Where the thigh meets the pelvis, cut through the sockets so that the legs stay attached to the body flesh and skin, not to the carcass.

3. Keep working right roung the bird, then use scissors to cut off most of the rib cage, leaving only the breastbone in the center. With a heavy knife, cut through the foot joints to remove the knuckle end of the legs.

4. Working from inside the top of the thigh, scrape the leg bone clean, pushing the flesh down until you can free the bone. Remove the tendons, then bone the other leg.

5. Now for the wings. Cut off the pinions (the last small one on the wing which has no real meat) with a heavy knife and scrape the wing bones clean as you did the leg bones.

6. Carefully lift up and scrape the breastbone free, working from the middle of the bird towards the tail. Take care not to puncture the skin, as there is no flesh under it at this point.

7. Keep the neck flap of skin intact, and fold it over once the chicken has been stuffed. Seal as much of the stuffing as possible, then sew up the bird or wrap it in a roasting net.

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02:47:37 on 09/15/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Boning poultry or joints seem to take a great deal of time and effort, is it really worth it?

The great advantage of boned meat or poultry is first that it is much easier to carve and second that it goes much farther. For example, a 1.5 kg chicken with stuffing will serve six to eight people. When you are catering for large numbers, boned poultry is especially useful.

Although boning poultry for the first time can be daunting, it becomes much easier with practice. And you don't have to do it all at once; if you like, do the boning in stages - just cover the bird loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it each time you have a break. People with little experience of boning will probably find it easier and quicker to deal with a leg of lamb, as there are only three large bones to remove.

Boning meat or poultry enables you to use delicious stuffing, which keeps the meat moist during cooking. For chicken, try a stuffing of ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, with black olives, basil and pine nuts - all bound together with egg. Or mix pistachio nuts and chopped dried apricots with chicken livers and fresh white breadcrumbs, also bound together with egg.

Turkey takes particularly well to a sausage-meat stuffing. For a traditional stuffing, add chopped mint, parsley, sage and thyme to the sausage meat. For a spicier version, add caramelized onion, sultanas, a pinch of cayenne pepper and some ground cumin. Duck and goose harmonize well with fruit, and citrus fruit in particular cuts through the fattiness. A small grain, such as burghul or couscous, makes a good stuffing base to which you can add a little orange juice, a few sliced kumquats and ginger, along with some chopped red onion.

A boned leg of lamb can be enriched by an Arabian stuffing of apricots, burghul, nuts and oranges.

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13:47:25 on 09/14/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

When boiling vegetables, should salt be added before or after the water comes to the boil?

Salt water boils at a lower temperature than plain water so the water will come to the boil faster if you add the salt at the start. But you do not have to add salt at all. Try reducing the amount you use, or leaving it out altogeher, to get a taste for healthier vegetables.

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05:46:07 on 09/14/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is parboiling and the advantages of it?

Parboiling means partly boiling vegetables so that further cooking produces the right finished result. It is similar to blanching, but the vegetables are cooked longer (for 10 minutes rather than one or two). For example, vegetables that will be roasted are often parboiled first to ensure they are fully cooked inside when golden outside.

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22:31:39 on 09/13/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Skimming the surface.

When simmering meat, add a spoonful of cold water to the pan every now and then to encourage the impurities to rise. When the liquid comes to a boil again, take the pan off the heat and skim off any scum with a metal spoon.

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11:59:47 on 09/13/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Should root vegetables be boiled more fiercely than leaf vegetables?

Root vegetables such as potatoes should be covered with cold unsalted water and boiled to cook them through. Green leaf vegetables should be plunged into a large quantity of salted boiling water and cooked quickly to keep their color, taste and nutrients.

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14:10:00 on 09/12/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

It is true that boiling is not the best way to cook vegetables?

Boiling often results in a considerable loss of nutritional value, as many vitamins are lost if the cooking water is discarded. Vegetables cooked for only a few minutes will retain more vitamins than vegetables boiled for longer. It takes no more time to steam vegetables, and this method retains more of their nutritional goodness and flavor.

The best equipment for steaming is a bamboo or metal steamer, or a collapsible steamer that can be put inside a saucepan. Bring the water to a rolling boil (with bubbles all over), and then add the vegetables, spread out in a single layer. The rack should be about 2.5 cm above the boiling water and the steamer should be covered with a tightly fitting lid to retain the heat.

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12:53:26 on 09/12/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Are boiled beef and other similar dishes really boiled?

When a recipe refers to boiled beef, fish or chicken, it really means it should be simmered. Any meat or fish subjected to fast boiling would become tough and favorless. Unlike braising and stewing, the cooking liquid used in boiled meats is not generally part of the finished dish, but it is often used to make the sauce or used as a stock. Bacon stock can be used as the basis for a delicious pea soup.

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12:59:33 on 09/11/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is the difference between boiling, poaching and simmering?

All three methods refer to cooking in liquid on top of the stove, but with different temperatures. Many dishes described as boiled are in fact poached or simmered. When water is heated up just enough to 'vibrate' at about 82 degrees C, it is perfect for poaching fish and other delicate foods that would otherwise break up.

A gentle simmer at 85-93 degrees C produces liquid that hardly moves except for occasional bubbles in the same place (ideal for cooking joints of meat and whole birds).

A true boil is used for the quick cooking of vegetables, rice and pasta, and some cereals. A gentle boil is used to reduce liquids when making jams and sauces.

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12:32:08 on 09/11/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Will blanching vegetables and then reheating them cause many vitamins to be lost?

If you blanch and refresh the vegetables rapidly, and also reheat them very quickly, the vitamin loss will only be minimal. However, certain vitamins, such as vitamin C, are water-soluble and will leach out during any water-based cooking process, so it is wise to eat raw vegetables on a regular basis, as well as cooked ones.

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14:15:00 on 09/10/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Blanching vegetables to retain the color

Blanching and refreshing is a method of cooking vegetables for 1-2 minutes in boiling water and then cooling them rapidly in iced water. It is chiefly done to set the color before they are added to another dish, such as a terrine or salad. This method is particularly suitable for green vegetables, such as green beans, as their color survives and becomes very intense.

Blanching is also used to precook a large quantity of vegetables, as they can be boiled in advance until nearly tender, refreshed and chilled, and swiftly reheated when required.

The term comes from the French word for whiten and the technique was originally used to remove traces of blood from sweetbreads or brains, leaving them pale, or to boil off the brown skin of almonds.

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12:15:00 on 09/10/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Why do biscuits spread all over the tray even though they are only very small quantities of the mixture?

While some type of biscuits, such as brandy snaps, are meant to spread, others should hold their shape during baking. Be sure to measure the ingredients accurately. Fat and sugar melt during cooking, and using too much of either will cause the biscuits to spread and merge into one another. Leave a space between each portion, about 7.5 cm, to allow room for some widening. This allows each biscuit to keep its shape.

Check that you are using the type of fat that is recommended. If a recipe uses butter and you want to use margarine, choose a type that is suitable for cooking. Firm packet or block margarine is better for biscuit mixtures than a softer tub margarine meant for spreading.

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10:12:00 on 09/10/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What biscuits to use as crumb crust for a cheesecake?

Plain sweet wholemeal biscuits are the best choice for making crumb crusts. Look for the granita variety, as their texture combines well with melted butter to give a firm base. If a recipe calls for a chocolate crumb, use chocolate-flavored biscuits, not chocolate coated.

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14:13:36 on 09/09/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to avoid biscuits from getting burnt edges?

Oven temperatures do vary. If you think your oven may be slightly too hot, check the heat by using an oven thermometer. An extra minute or two can be crucial when you are baking thin biscuits, and you may find you need to use a slightly lower setting than the one indicated. Avoid the temptation to overcook. Cooked biscuits may seem soft when they have just come out of the oven, but they will be firm and crisp when cool.

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12:28:36 on 09/09/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to make fresh fruit tarts in patisseries look impresive and shiny?

By glazing the fruit. The easiest glaze is made from jam, ideally the same flavor as the fruit in the tart. This should be heated with a little water, sieved to remove any seeds, stones and skin, then brought to the boil and brushed or spooned over the fruit.

Redcurrant jelly or apricot jam can be used as general purpose glazes. Alternatively, fruit juice can be thickened with arrowroot to make a clear glaze.

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14:10:19 on 09/08/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Hulling strawberries

Soft fruits such as blackberries, loganberries, boysenberries, raspberries and strawberries are each hulled in the same manner. Gently but firmly, pull the circle of green leaves away from the berry; the white central core, or the hull, of the fruit will come away at the same time. In some varieties, or if the fruit is not very ripe, it may be necessary to remove the core of the berry with the tip of a knife.

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11:49:51 on 09/08/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Why does summer pudding sometimes collapse?

There are several reasons why the summer pudding will collapse. The bread may not have been dry enough or the syrup not heavy enough; there may have been gaps in the bread lining the basin; or perhaps the pudding was not weighted down properly or thoroughly chilled. The secrets to making a good summer pudding are relatively simple. Use good-quality uncut bread, and buy it two to three days beforehand so that it can dry out. Dry bread will absorb the juice from the fruit better and will swell, rather than just become soggy and disintegrate. Cook the fruit just long enough for it to soften yet remain whole. This will ensure you have a lusciously heavy, syrupy juice. Most importantly, make sure that the pudding is really well-weighted down.

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12:58:12 on 09/07/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What to do with virtually tasteless strawberries?

If serving such strawberries with cream or ice cream, you can develop their flavor by dusting them with sugar and leaving them to stand for about an hour. Slice any large ones first. Sprinkling them with a little kirsch, Cointreau or Grand Marnier will also improve the flavor. If the strawberries are to be put into a flan, or on top of a cake, they can be mixed with some hot, sieved strawberry jam, or glazed. This will compensate for their disappointing tasteless flavor.

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09:39:12 on 09/07/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Should berries be washed before eating them?

It all depends on the type of fruit and where it came from. Wild blackberries should always be washed, but those sold by supermarkets and greengrocers are cultivated varieties and should not need any washing. Do not wash raspberries, boysenberries or loganberries as this will spoil their juicy texture. Strawberries, too, should not be washed, unless they are particularly dusty. Blackcurrants, gooseberries, redcurrants and whitecurrants should be put into a colander and rinsed under a gentle running tap.

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02:22:26 on 09/07/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Stylish beetroot dressing

A simple dressing for sliced hot beetroot is a spoonful of good marmalade thinned lightly with fresh orange juice. Garnish with coriander leaves or ground seeds.

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13:55:05 on 09/06/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Most of the time, why is beetroot served straight from the can? Can we prepare it at home?

Raw beetroot can be grated into a sald or add to a soup, but you will miss out on the soft, voluptuous sweetness that is a main feature of this tasty vegetable when it is freshly cooked. While the cooking process is very simple, it can be quite lengthy and must be done while the beetroot is unpeeled. Any break in the skin will allow the color to run, leaving a vegetable that is pale and less flavorsome. Cooked and peeled beetroot can be pickled, reheated in a sauce, or dressed cold as a salad. Freshly cooked beetroot also makes a wonderful puree, blended with cream.

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12:20:59 on 09/06/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

When deep frying in batches

When deep frying, never be tempted to deep-fry too many pieces of the food at any one time. This is to avoid causing the oil temperature to drop and that can cause the food to becomes soggy. Instead try to keep it within only six to eight pieces at a time as this will allow the oil to come back to temperature in between.

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12:31:08 on 09/05/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Which beer is best for cooking?

Any type of beer can be used for cooking. Strong, full-bodied ales and stout are the best for braising, stewing, casseroling or marinating dark meats and game; dark beer, particularly stout, will add a rich color. The slight bitterness of dark ales and some stouts is used to counteract the richness of strongly flavored meats such as venison, and also the sweetness imparted by some vegetables, such as carrots, onions and parsnips. Dark ale or stout can also be used to enrich fruit puddings, such as Christmas pudding. The very slight bitterness is the perfect foil for the sweetness of the fruit.

Light ales and lager go well with chicken, fish, pork or rabbit. They can also be used in desserts, for poaching fruits and for making cakes and puddings.

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10:05:33 on 09/05/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Sometimes when we cook steak, it is very chewy. Is the problem with the meat we bought or the method we use for cooking?

The tenderness is affected by the choice of meat. Look for flesh with a little fine marbling of fat as this dissolves in cooking and helps to tenderize the steak. Meat from animals that have been carefully reared and cuts from muscles that do not move, such as eye fillet and scotch fillet, are apt to be the most tender. It is also important that the meat should have been well hung in a cool place for about 14 days. During hanging, flavor develops and the natural enzymes in the meat break down the tough tissues, making it firmer, drier and more tender. The meat will also look much darker in color. Bright red steak is more likely to be tough.

If you buy from a good butcher, these points will be covered. But how you cook steak, and for how long, also affects its tenderness. Good quality raw steak is already tender and over-cooking it makes it tough. Always bring the steak to room temperature before you start to cook.

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15:33:11 on 09/04/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Should we beat the steak to break down the fibers?

Steak is beaten to break down the fibers a little, making the meat more tender. Nowadays, cattle are slaughtered while they are still young and tender so beating steaks is less necessary, but you can do so if you want to shorten their cooking time. Place the uncooked meat between two sheets of plastic wrap or grease-proof paper, then pound it firmly with a meat mallet, the flat of a heavy knife, or a rolling pin. A gentler technique for tenderizing steak is to marinate it for a few hours.

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13:11:19 on 09/04/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Growing bean sprouts

Sprouting beans is very easy and is a good way to have a fresh, crunchy, high-protein salad filling on hand. The sprouts can also be added to stir-fries as well as sandwiches. Soak a handful of mung beans overnight in cold water and they will double their bulk. Rinse in a sieve under the cold tap and transfer to a jar. They should fill the jar about one-quarter full.

Cover the jar with a square of loose-woven cloth held in place with an elastic band. Leave the jar on its side. Place in a warm, well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight. Twice each day, uncover the jar. Fill it with cold water, swirl, replace the cover and drain water through the cloth. The seeds should start to sprout on the second day. After a few days, the sprouts will have grown to about 1-2 cm long. which is when they are at their most nutritious.

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09:32:37 on 09/04/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Can we sprout any dried bean?

Beans, peas and lentils are all seeds that can be used for sprouting. As long as they are not too old or have not been damaged or deliverately split in processing, they should sprout. You can also use grains such as barley, whole oats, wheat and millet. These can then be used singly or in mixtures in salads and sandwiches, very lightly cooked in stir-fries, or as a crunchy garnish for cooked food. Bean sprouts that are surplus to your immediate needs can be loosely wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the salad drawer of the refrigerator.

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09:44:15 on 09/03/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Stringing Beans

Many green beans are sold when they are small and do not need to have their strings removed. Older green beans and runner beans need stringing. To remove the strings, use a small sharp knife, cut each bean from the outer side across the stalk end towards the deeply grooved inner side. Stop just short of the edge and pull the string along the length of each bean. If the string breaks short, cut away a thin strip along the edge to remove it. Nick the top of the outer edge. If a string has been formed there, pull it out as well.

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01:08:07 on 09/03/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Green Bean and Omelette Ribbon Salad Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 8-9 minutes

2 eggs
Salt and black pepper
350 g green beans
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili vinegar
2 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
2 teaspoons capers

Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, add salt and pepper, then make two thin omelettes and turn onto the plates. Top and tail the beans and cook for 3-4 minutes in boiling, salted water. Drain and transfer to a dish. Fry the garlic for 30 seconds in a tablepsoon of oil and remove from the heat. Add the remaining oil, vinegars and sun-dried tomatoes, mix together and toss with the beans. Roll each omelette and slice into thin ribbons. Curl the slices loosely over the salad, scatter with capers and serve.

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16:03:20 on 09/02/06 by Webmaster - Recipes -

Green beans seem to be available all year, but when is the best time for broad and runner beans?

Actually early summer is the best time for home-grown broad beans, which are traditionally dressed with butter and summer savory. Dill also goes particularly well with these. When the pods become very large, the beans inside are best blanched and skinned. This treatment works all year round for frozen broad beans, and the bright green kernels add freshness to mixed-bean salads.

Runner beans come into season in the late summer. String and slice them, then cook quickly in boiling salted water. You can serve them hot, dressed with butter or olive oil, or in a sauce. Green beans are also delicious eaten cold as a salad. Try mixing the beans with omelette strips and serve as a starter with a warm bread.

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15:03:13 on 09/02/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Storing cooked pancakes

Cooked pancakes may be refrigerated for up to two days. They also freeze well for up to three months, if separated with pieces of greaseproof paper. Thaw the pancakes overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat, warm them in the oven or heat gently on both sides in melted butter in a frying pan.

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16:09:01 on 09/01/06 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -